Sustainable Fashion

New Year - New “Conscious” You!

Sarah Rockley and Lisa Holland of Conscious Closet look at mindful ways to update your style in 2021.
 |  Sarah Rockley / Lisa Holland  |  Women's Fashion

As we wave goodbye to a difficult 2020, we can look forward to starting the New Year surrounded by the things that make us happy. Fashion and dressing up is a perfect way to feel more positive, and as the photographer Bill Cunningham wisely stated, “Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life”.

Whilst we have grown to love working from home in our slouchy joggers and sweats, replaced lipstick with face masks, and felt guilty for not washing our hair all week, 2021 is definitely giving us time to think about our personal style and how to dress for the outside world again!

Whilst we all want to look good and show our masked face to the world in smart new outfits, we need to do this guilt free. Lockdown and isolation taught us to appreciate the things close to us, and “make do and mend” rather than rush out to purchase more. Buying clothes to wear once and throw away is no longer the way forward, we must invest time and money in clothing that lasts the test of time and shop with a more mindful approach.

It's common knowledge that nearly 20% of global waste is produced by the fashion industry – with manufacturing processes and water consumption harming our eco system. An estimated 92 million tons of textile waste is created annually, and every second the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned globally. Mountains of discarded fast fashion sit on wastelands like a toxic warning of a dystopian future.

But there is light at the end of the fashion tunnel! Many clothing brands are making it their priority to tackle this, and we can all make a difference in our own way - and still look stylish. Don’t feel guilty with a new purchase – just make sure it is not a wasted purchase.

At Conscious Closet HQ we know a thing or two about looking your best, and we strongly believe in sustainable ways to look good, feel good, keep up with the trends but simultaneously keeping the planet happy too.

So, let's challenge our wardrobes to work for us. These months are still chilly, so layer your favourite pieces for warmth, invest in a few pieces to update, add some colour to brighten the days, and keep to the simple mantra “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle”.

A great way of ensuring you are making good use of your wardrobe is to organise your clothing. Sounds obvious but how many of us do this?

  • Get everything out of your wardrobe and put in to piles.
  • Consider items you want to keep and wear.
  • Store those seasonal items you will wear later.
  • Pull out clothes you can pass on to friends or a charity dear to your heart.

Or you could even take unwanted clothing to clothes swap parties (yes, we will hold some again this year ladies!)

Wardrobe storage ideas make it easier to navigate. A well-known Swedish homeware store sells fantastic wardrobe storage at good prices. Hang your clothes in colour groups or sit them together in outfits that are ready to go when you are in a rush. Place your accessories in separate trays. Whether you have a huge walk-in wardrobe or a small rail full of clothes, you can make it a more organised and relaxing space.

The popularity of the clothing rental market is growing rapidly. Why don’t you rent for that next special occasion rather than spending money on a one wear item? There are lots of rental sites online, and look out for our very own to launch in March 2021.

Make sure you repair or upcycle older pieces so that you can love and wear them again. There are lots of great local tailors that can alter your unworn clothing.

Think about what you are buying - invest in good quality materials that will last a lifetime, and don’t be afraid to question the processes behind what we are consuming. Some high street brands are now dedicating part or all of their ranges to more eco conscious retailing - recycled fabrics, organic cotton, upcycled processes, and offering a clothes swap or charity incentive for unwanted items. Many stores provide bins by their tills for you to drop in unwanted items – which are recycled and donated to charities

H&M group is promoting a drastic sustainable strategy and working to achieve its circular fashion goal by 2030. The group's chemical restrictions are also among the strictest in the industry. The new H&M Conscious Exclusive range boasts several gorgeous pieces to feel beautiful in.

Update your current items with new accessories to make them wearable in the colder weather. Lots of brands are selling timeless pieces that will last way beyond the next season. Whistles is a perfect example to get modern pieces that will last you a lifetime. Update a summer skirt or dress with some layering knits, great accessories, and on trend chunky boots – to make it perfect to wear now. And don’t shy away from sparkle after Christmas! Keep wearing your sequins but calm down with daywear layers.

So, let's rethink our wardrobes, be mindful of what we do with our clothes, refresh our love of dressing up, and look forward to Spring 2021 with hope and style!

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